Territory and Municipal Services are letting it be known they’re hard at work on the heritage-listed De Salis Cemetery located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in Tharwa.
“The De Salis Cemetery is a rare example of a 19th century pastoral station cemetery. It is of unique construction, comprising a raised circular terrace with walls of local stone.
“The cemetery was built this way as the land on which the cemetery sits was too hard to cut grave sites. The raised terrace also lessened the risk of flooding from the nearby Murrumbidgee River.
“During severe storms in December 2010 and January 2011 the stone wall of the cemetery collapsed as the earth subsided. The wall has continued collapsing due to recurring heavy rain in 2012.
“ACT Parks and Conservation Service commissioned a structural and geotechnical engineer to advise on the best approach to restore the stone wall.
“Ground penetrating radar investigations were also undertaken in May 2012 to locate potential unmarked burial sites prior to disturbing soil behind the damaged wall.
“The investigation indicated an extensive area of previously disturbed ground that may contain unmarked burials.
“The ACT Heritage Unit and Heritage Advisory Service have provided ongoing feedback on the most appropriate methodology for the wall’s restoration. Heritage experts will oversee the restoration to ensure works are in accordance with the site’s heritage plan and to minimise impact on existing graves.